Structural equation modeling was used to assess the utility of the sensorineural model of contrast sensitivity proposed by Sekuler et al. [Vision Res. 24, 689 (1984)] to account for spatial vision in adulthood. In Study 1, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity (1.5–18 c/deg) were measured in 84 people between the ages of 19 and 81 yr. No three-filter model fitted the data well. Although a two-filter model was associated with good fit indices, parameter estimates for both filters were inconsistent with physiological and behavioral data. In Study 2, acuity and contrast sensitivity (1.5–18 c/deg) were assessed in 95 observers between the ages of 23 and 73 yr. All measures were gathered once per month over a three-month period. The Sekuler et al. three-filter model did not fit the data from any time of measure, but a two-filter, bandpass model provided a consistent and excellent fit for all three waves. The model suggests that age-related change in the neural mechanisms underlying contrast sensitivity is minimal once acuity is controlled. Discrepancies between this conclusion and that reported by Sekuler et al. may be related to test type, psychophysical method, reliability, and sample selection.
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